Russia blacklists Jewish author Boris Akunin, labels him a 'foreign agent'

Moscow adds Akunin - the pen name of Grigori Chkhartishvili - to the list of individuals allegedly involved in terrorism or extremism following his criticism of the Russia-Ukraine war

Russia's Justice Ministry announced over the weekend that it has designated Boris Akunin, one of the most popular thriller writers in Russia, as a "foreign agent" due to his "unacceptable" positions against Russia in the war it has been conducting against Ukraine in recent years, and his criticism against the country's president, Vladimir Putin.
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Akunin is the pen name of Grigori Chkhartishvili, a 67-year-old Jewish writer of Georgian descent who became a bestselling author thanks to his historical detective series "The Adventures of Erast Fandorin." However, his books were removed from shelves in Russia and banned from distribution after authorities added him to the list of individuals allegedly involved in terrorism or extremism.
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בוריס אקונין
בוריס אקונין
Boris Akunin
(Photo: AP)
The Justice Ministry cited Akunin's opposition to what the Russians call their "special military operation" in Ukrainian territories, accusing the author of spreading false information about Russia "intended to create a negative image" and assisting in raising funds for the Ukrainian army.
On the day the Russia-Ukraine war broke out, Akunin wrote: "Russia is ruled by a psychologically deranged dictator and, worse than that, it is forced to act obediently according to his whims."
Being tagged as a "foreign agent" requires him to identify himself as such in social networks and various publications and allows the authorities to demand reports on his financial expenses.
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